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What's New With 11.2: Updates to Oracle's EPM Solution | US-Analytics

AJ Martelino
May 13, 2020

Over the holiday break, Oracle finally rolled out the long-anticipated 11.2 release of the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management stack. While this is a major release, the untrained eye might look at 11.2 and assume it is 11.1.2.4. But a closer look reveals several key differentiators between the two releases.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key features of the 11.2 release, as well as some of the primary similarities and differences between 11.2 and 11.1.2.4. And for more information about the features of the 11.2 release, sign up to receive our newsletter using the form at the end of this article.

11.2 Highlights

As mentioned, Oracle released 11.2 in December of 2019. This is a release that has been expected since before Kscope18, just to provide some context for how long the wait has really been. The release has gone from “cloud parity” down to “new operating system support.” On-premise EPM has been somewhat of an afterthought from Oracle for some time as they funnel customers towards the cloud. This continues to be evident in the inclusion of 11.1.2.4 Essbase rather than an 11.2 version.

For more information on 11.2 and the features of Oracle’s EPM solutions, check out the US-Analytics blog here.

Up-to-date Operating System and Database support

With the release of 11.1.2.4, Oracle EPM customers have been stuck on Windows Server 2012 R2. In a surprising move, Oracle has skipped Windows Server 2016 support and gone straight to Windows Server 2019. And Windows Server 2019 isn’t just the latest operating system supported, it’s the ONLY operating system supported. This means that with its initial release, 11.2 will not support Linux. However, there is an anticipated path forward for compatibility with Linux. It’s also important to note that Microsoft Windows 10 and Server 2012 is the only supported end-user operating system.

EPM version 11.2 release supports Oracle Databases, versions Oracle 11.2.0.4+, Oracle 12.1.0.1+, and Oracle 12.2.0.1+ are supported. As for Microsoft SQL Server, only Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (SP2+) is supported. This is likely due to the late release of SQL Server 2019.

Supported upgrade path

The only supported upgrade path to 11.2 is from versions 11.1.2.4 or 11.1.2.4.9xx. Any versions prior (11.1.2.3.x and prior) must upgrade to 11.1.2.4 before upgrading to 11.2. However, there are caveats to any upgrade. If you’re running EPMA applications, they must first be converted back to classic applications. This applies to HFM, Essbase, and Planning as EPMA is no longer part of the 11.2 codebase.

In 11.1.2.4.9xx, Reporting and Analysis Framework was completely rewritten. As a result, many things changed in the way we migrate reports. In 11.1.2.4.9xx, report migrations were not supported at all. They are supported in 11.2, but only for certain data sources. If you have Financial Reports built using Essbase as a data source, these reports must be completely re-written. Attempting to migrate these types of reports could corrupt the entire repository.

With the release of 11.2, the modules in Planning are no longer available. While new implementations no longer support using Workforce, Capex, or Projects modules, these can easily be migrated to 11.2. They will no longer be updated and will be considered custom plan types moving forward.

Essbase 11.1.2.4
EPM version 11.2 utilizes Essbase version 11.1.2.4.033, Oracle Hyperion Provider Services Release 11.1.2.4.033, as well as Oracle Hyperion Essbase Administration Services 11.1.2.4.031. This allows users to expect the same features and functionalities that are used in Essbase 11.1.2.4.033 when using Essbase EPM version 11.2. 

The eventual path is to roll out Essbase 19c but given the number of changes required to support such a change, this is not expected to happen in the next 24 months. When that change does finally happen, expect Essbase Administration Services to finally leave the EPM stack, as the terminal release is 11.1.2.4.

End-User Experience for 11.2
For release after release of the Oracle EPM stack, we’ve seen various levels of change in the end-user interface. As with many things in 11.2, Oracle has deviated from this trend. The end-user interface looks nearly identical to 11.1.2.4. Clearly the focus of this release was solely for modern operating systems with better security, and not new functionality.

More current security support for 11.2

Security, unlike interface, was clearly a priority in 11.2. While 11.1.2.4 shipped with Java 1.6, 11.2 ships with Java 1.8. Weblogic has gone from 10.3.6.0 in 11.1.2.3 to 12.2.1.3 in 11.2. Oracle HTTP Server has also skipped a few versions going from 11.1.1.7 to 12.2.1.3. And while Transport Layer Security (TLS 1.2) could be implemented in 11.1.2.4 with some additional effort, TLS 1.2 is supported “out of the box” In 11.2.

Conclusion

The release of Oracle Enterprise Performance Management version 11.2 leaves us with a great path forward to keep IT groups compliant and supported by vendors. But it also leaves users without much to show for it. This is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, users like new features. On the other, new features normally come with more bugs. With the similarities between 11.1.2.4 and 11.2 being so vast, there is some expectation of less product-specific bugs. This should allow more clients to upgrade to 11.2 more rapidly and leave old hardware and unsupported software.

Interested in learning more about Oracle EPM Cloud? Check out the replay of our webinar “Get to Know the New Oracle EPM Cloud” here or contact us to learn how our managed services solutions can help you find the right path. We help companies assess solutions, create roadmaps, and optimize their processes, and you can book an appointment to speak with an EPM advisor here.

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